A Definitive List of the Shoes Taking Over in 2021

Maxine Eggenberger
·4-min read

Shoes—remember those? Alright, so we may be being a touch dramatic, but there's no denying that, over the past year, shoes (and bags for that matter), have taken a back seat and, instead, we've developed some new shopping habits. In lieu of treating ourselves to a new pair of heels to wear with your elegant wedding guest dress, we snapped up loungewear, knits, and candles in numbers never before seen.

Still, that was last 2020 and right now we're focussed on being optimistic; optimistic that our daily outfits in 2021 will call for something other than a slipper (don't worry though, they're not completely obsolete).

So, which shoe trends are we kicking 2021 off with? We're sure you'll be pleased to hear that comfort is still very much a priority as far as footwear is concerned—as is durability. Without further ado, scroll below to see the shoe trends 2021 has to offer.


If you only invest in one trending shoe in 2021, it's imperative that you make it the chunky loafer. "The spring/summer update of the chunky boot trend is the chunky loafer. Brands such as Prada, Balenciaga and Simone Rocha are key brands for this trend," reveals Heather Gramston, Head of Womenswear at Browns.

Shop the trend:

Prada Brushed Leather Loafers (£645)

& Other Stories Heeled Leather Penny Loafers (£95)

H&M Chunky Leather Loafers (£50)


Rejoice! You can still justify wearing your slippers into 2021, thanks in no small part to designers who have devoted their time to creating stylish options for us to choose from. "With spending more time entertaining or relaxing at home, the house slipper has been incredibly popular with our customer. Plush styles are modelled on the traditional slipper however are very versatile as they can be worn outside of the house, too," assures Cassie Smart, Head of Womenswear Buying at Matches.

Shop the trend:

Lauren Manoogian Mono Alpaca and Wool-Blend Slippers (£350)

Zara Felt Ballet Flat Slippers (£16)

The Row Friulane Textured-Leather Slippers (£600)


It would be remiss not to include a pair of trainers in our edit and, for the year ahead, the trend has morphed into high-performing kicks. "We have seen an increased interest in athletic performance footwear as our everyday uniform has evolved over the past year and our customer is combining technical activewear with more fashion-focused pieces," continues Smart. "New Balance has been a highlight for the AW20 season, and we see this continuing for SS21 as well as introducing new specialist brands including Salomon, Asics, and On.”

Shop the trend:

Veja Condor 2 Alveomesh and Jersey Sneakers (£130)

Asics Gel 1090 Sneakers (£94)

New Balance Made in the USA 992 Suede and Mesh Trainers (£200)


There's so much to love about Simone Rocha's spring/summer 2021 collection, but one of our favourite pieces is undoubtedly the gold ballet pumps that decorated the models feet. Featuring rhinestone wrap-around details, they're yet to land on any website. Until they do, we'll be shopping these classic pairs.

Shop the trend:

Repetto Cendrillon Ballerinas (£225)

Miu Miu Neutral Crystal-Embellished Ballet Flats (£515)

L.K.Bennett Trilly Flat Pumps in Burgundy (£95)


Forging wearing heels will have been a welcome 2020 plot twist for some but, for others, they'll have missed an excuse to don them. To help ease us back into wearing them, the biggest heel trend of note this year is the clunky Mary Jane. With straps that keep your foot in place and blocky heels for added stability, we've already started to see Nodaleto's cult Bulla Babies creeping into our feeds.

Shop the trend:

Nodaleto Bulla Babies Mary Jane Patent-Leather Pumps (£630)

Sézane High Kate Mary Janes (£160)

Miu Miu Black Leather Platform Pumps (£605)


As our Assistant Editor, Nell Block, recently revealed, clogs are back on the footwear agenda, having made an appearance in Hermès's glossy 2021 collection. Wear them with jeans, a white shirt, and chunky socks now, then with your favourite dresses come summer.

Shop the trend:

Isabel Marant Tan Thalie Studded Leather Clogs (£285)

Birkenstock Fanny Big Buckle Leather Clogs (£160)

Coach Freya Clogs (£81)


With a few months of winter still to go, we thought we best be realistic and, for our last slot, profile boots over sandals. Continuing on from last season, chunky, track-sole boots are still leading the sartorial charge, though have have noticed the addition of an elastic panel, akin to that of a Chelsea boots, has been widely introduced ro the style, as has a taller shaft.

Shop the trend:

& Other Stories Chunky Sole Leather Chelsea Boots (£165)

COS Chunky Leather Chelsea Boots (£180)

Legres Mid-Calf Leather Chelsea Boots (£560)

Next Up, Spring/Summer 2021 Trends: The Most Important Fashion Looks You Need to Know

This article originally appeared on Who What Wear

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